NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Precious & My Thoughts (TW)

January12

I waited a long time to see the film “Precious.” Not because I didn’t think it’d be good, but because I had just opened the cafe and was frankly too broke and tired to manage a trip to the theater. So yesterday, after seeing it in my Netflix que for far too long, I finally watched it. Wow! I was blown away and so many emotions washed over me (good and bad). I already loved Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe from watching her various interviews and guest appearances on many TV shows (she is the greatest, y’all!). Her performance? Incredible and flawless. What truly did me in though was Mo’nique‘s performance. She earned that Oscar win, for real! I didn’t see Mo’nique on the screen at all. I saw a monster. I saw an abuser. I saw more than what was actually on-screen, too. (Trigger warning for abusive relationships and living through that and descriptions of it, too)

What I took away from the film was that no matter the year, the age, the gender of the abuser, they somehow all manage to use the same damned tactics. Could this be instinctual? A common mental disorder (as in common in abusers)? I don’t know the answer (if you do, please comment). I do know that watching Mo’nique play the role of the mother of “Precious Jones” was very difficult. I was angry, bitter but in the end mostly just sick. It reminded me so much of what I went through with an ex-boyfriend/abuser. Those mind games and violence. The feeling before unconsciousness when you wish you wouldn’t wake up at all because damn that would be so much better than waking up only to have to clean up after the mess the abuser made trying to hurt/kill you.

It brought me right back to the point where I began to fight back, I had no other option, I was trapped! That look of fear in his eyes when he realized I was far stronger than he ever gave me credit for. I saw that in Precious’ mom’s eyes, that fear. Then the realization that I could just as easily become an abuser through using the same bullshit tactics. Scary stuff. It just came flooding back to me and I had to breathe through it a lot. The burden of guilt and shame abuse survivors carry with them for many years if not forever. I recall a very long period of time where I didn’t talk about what I went through and pretty much refused to acknowledge it at all. When I did finally half-mention it no one (my friends anyway) was surprised and appeared to want to change the subject. I took this as a cue that I shouldn’t talk about it.

Then more recently (in the past year or so) I started to tell people. New friends mostly, but I blogged about it, too. Then one night while having dinner with my husband at Carrow’s (sorta like a Denny’s but with more variety) and he just asked flat-out what I went through. I described to him things I had forgotten. I explained for the first time what things felt like, but he had to ask what I felt emotionally because until then I had only described the physical pain. He asked more questions and when I was done I looked up at him and it felt like I’d come out of a trance. It was as though time had stopped while sitting there describing these terrible things. He just hugged me and thanked me for sharing it with him and asked if I needed anything. I didn’t. The weight of it had been lifted. I remembered more than I had wanted to or had ever before, but I felt better having done so, too.

Watching “Precious” and seeing someone reach out to her in a way that made her feel that there would be life outside of her horrifically abusive home…well, I was just floored! No one ever reached out to me. I don’t know how I would have reacted if they had. I can’t possibly know. Even when a friend saw me get beat up right in front of her (we had practically grown up together) she said nothing, even in private. Everyone who knew simply distanced themselves from the situation or disappeared all together. I can’t know for sure, but I often believe that things happen for a reason. I’m not at a point in my life yet that I can point to that reason, but it will come.

My point in writing this is that I simply want to offer myself up as the person who is reaching out to any and all abuse victims/survivors. I have zero degrees and have never had therapy myself, but I am a willing ear and shoulder and whatever else you need. You are not alone in the world or in your situation. Reach out and I will listen and help in any way I possibly can. Please do email me: notblueatall@notblueatall.com You can remain anonymous if you wish, I would never betray that and you can tell me anything. I won’t judge. Let me know how I can help! Please!

Thank you for reading.

<3
S

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posted under Abuse, Blog, movies, Reviews
14 Comments to

“Precious & My Thoughts (TW)”

  1. On January 12th, 2011 at 12:40 pm Christine Says:

    I have a friend who has been sexually abused in her pre/young teens by a stepfather. She told me, in a text, when we were about 15 – we were in the same room, she couldn’t say the words. We’ve never talked about it – I had no idea what to say at the time, and we lost touch for a while.

    At 24, I’ve been dithering whether to tell her she can talk about it if she needs to, and scared to bring up bad memories for her.

    My instinct is that it will be something she won’t be able to escape from anyway – how can you? So bringing it to the forefront isn’t going to cause any damage – but it’s such a massive thing.

    What are your instincts?

  2. On January 12th, 2011 at 12:51 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow! The fact that she said anything to you, even in text, speaks volumes to me. She wanted you to know, someone to know! I think you should bring it up, perhaps in text at first. One thing I do know is that most, if not all, abuse survivors at first feel as though it was somehow their own fault. This creates such an immense amount of guilt and shame that even when you discover that it had nothing to do with you at all, that guilt and shame doesn’t just go away. So if she is hesitant to talk at first, let her know that no matter what happens in either of your lives, that you are there for her when she’s ready to talk. You may just be surprised! =0)

  3. On January 12th, 2011 at 1:05 pm Christine Says:

    She told me just as things were starting to happen for her (she told her mum, who believed her – thank god, and she was moving towns). I think I was the only person at that time who wouldn’t be too fazed by that sort of thing (my parents foster abused kids) even if I couldn’t do or say anything useful.

    We sort of fell out then moved away – we’ve only really got back on track in the last year. We have an odd relationship where we aren’t really involved in each other’s lives, but we do have a bond. She could turn up at my house at 3am if she needed and be welcome in.

    I just wasn’t sure about bringing it up after nearly a decade. I think next time I see her, I’ll tell her how much respect I have for her doing as well as she is after everything, and that if she ever needs to talk she can.

  4. On January 12th, 2011 at 1:08 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, please do but also, you might leave this bit out “doing as well as she is after everything” because through text it comes off as a little condescending, but just focus on the talking and being there part. Thank you for asking me though, I am so grateful for your trust and honesty. =0)

  5. On January 12th, 2011 at 1:23 pm Christine Says:

    That wasn’t really well phrased, I agree. I’m going to actually talk to her though (it’ll come over better in coversation) I meant that bit in the context of seeing time and time again people sexually abused as kids going off in a spiral of self destruction. She’s had blips, but she’s fought every trend I’ve ever seen, and I am genuinely in awe of her because of that.

    Thanks for the advice – it’s great talking to someone who will give me honesty, especially in this sort of sensitive arena 🙂

  6. On January 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    You’re right about the awful spiral. Can’t say I avoided it, but at least mine was short lived. And seriously, anytime, doll! Sensitive or no, I’m here to talk anytime! Ha! <3

  7. On January 13th, 2011 at 11:13 pm j. Says:

    Great post! Although, as someone who went through child abuse, I don’t know if I am an exception, but I don’t carry shame or guilt. I do carry a chip on my shoulder when it comes to watching physicality for sport as in boxing and MMA. I carry a chip when it comes to war. I just don’t understand why or even how people want to hurt others.
    I don’t think abusers have mental disorders. I think it is more the fear of being alone.
    I still am not ready to watch the movie, but one day I think I will be.
    I do know that I’ll be a mess when I watch it though. Thanks for the great heads up!!

  8. On January 14th, 2011 at 10:07 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I don’t know that you’re an exception either, but I think it’s a very individual experience as much as it is when you’re healing from that. Thanks! <3

  9. On January 14th, 2011 at 6:03 am withoutscene Says:

    I have avoided watching Precious, mostly because I think that I’ll need to be in a very particular place emotionally to watch it. I don’t do well with cruelty or abuse in movies. For example, I was not the same for weeks after watching Requiem for a Dream or Frailty or Gummo. In fact, I almost threw up in the theatre watching Frailty.

    Talking about it is brave and hard, largely because there is a lot of shame that can go with it–different kinds/levels of shame, too.

    Abusers have the same tactics, I might argue, because abuse is a learned behavior. It may be learned directly or indirectly, but it’s learned. It’s also largely about power and control, and there are particular strategies for controlling other people.

  10. On January 14th, 2011 at 10:08 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, I certainly avoided watching it, too. But then I just really wanted to see Gabby do her thang, ya know?! Ha! I haven’t seen Gummo, same reason. I can’t remember if I watched Frailty. Good point on the learned behavior thing. Something to consider for sure. And the power/control, Oh my gawd! Dead on! Thank you! <3

  11. On January 21st, 2011 at 10:57 am Twix Says:

    I don’t know if you are aware of this website. But it deals with violence and those who have had violence happen in their lives. http://www.violenceunsilenced.com

    I’ve been reading the last few posts and I really like your voice. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. On January 21st, 2011 at 11:17 am Not Blue at All Says:

    No, I hadn’t heard of this web site. Thank you for the link. I heard about another one last night and was planning on another abuse related post. Now I have more info to work with! Woo!
    Thank you for reading & commenting. I forget that I have a voice sometimes. So thank you for that, too! =0)

  13. On January 22nd, 2011 at 7:28 pm Kath Says:

    I experienced the same thing. People knew. Some laughed about it. Others changed the subject. Some just stopped being my friend. Nobody ever asked me if I was ok, nobody said anything to the abusers (it happened repeatedly through my life until I was about 30), nobody said “You don’t have to suffer through this.”

    In some ways, I’m still not ready to talk about it either, not because I can’t deal with what happened to me, but because I can’t deal with people’s reactions. I can’t deal with the silence, the avoidance of the topic, the justification of the abusers behaviour, or them just removing themselves from my life because they can’t deal with it.

    I really admire you for talking about it and for being there for others. It’s amazing.

  14. On January 24th, 2011 at 8:39 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Kath. I must admit that it angers me to hear that people would defend an abusers actions, but I also know that it is a sad reality. In some communities, the abuser will often be embraced by the community while the victim ostracized and that to me is utter bullshit. It really should be the other way around. I find that the more we talk about it and confront this reality we can eventually do away with such absurdities and actually protect and prevent them from occurring to begin with. I talk because I feel compelled to do so. And I recall those hundreds of nights laying awake and fantasizing about a white knight rescue or a simple friend to chat with. We can heal together and grow stringer. I just know we can.

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